ANTIBODY TESTING FOR COVID-19 [Updated]

Exer Urgent Care is now offering an FDA-authorized COVID-19 antibody test at all 16 Southern California locations. The antibody testing, through a blood sample, detects the presence of the virus and identifies patients who have been exposed to or recovered from COVID-19.

The new test detects antibodies produced in the blood and indicates those who may have been exposed or recovered from the coronavirus. For the most effective results, the antibody testing must be conducted a minimum of 14 days after infection or exposure.  This helps ensure sensitivity and produces more accurate results. Results are received within 5 days after testing and Exer notifies patients apprising them of their results and recommended next steps.

Anyone who is interested in receiving an antibody test must receive a referral through Exer’s VirtualCare portal or at an Exer clinic. VirtualCare by Exer, an online extension of our urgent care service provides real-time access to a medical provider via video chat and a quick diagnosis with treatment options. After a referral is received, patients will be directed to visit their local Exer clinic to proceed with antibody testing.

Exer offers a safe testing environment where screening is handled at the front entrance, and we are following all public health guidance for sanitizing our clinics.

Get screened today at one of our clinics or online at VirtualCare by Exer. For more info on the COVID-19 nasal swab test, click here.

 

Antibody Testing FAQs

What is a COVID-19 antibody test?

The IgG antibody test can help identify individuals who have developed an immune response to the virus, either as part of an active infection or a prior infection. The test detects the presence of antibodies in the blood – if antibodies are present, that indicates that the person has been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it, which may mean that person has at least some immunity to the coronavirus. In the early days of an infection when the body’s immune response is still building, antibodies may not be detected, which is why antibody tests should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude infection with the COVID-19 virus. There is also a great deal about COVID-19 immunity that the medical community doesn’t yet fully understand. For example, we don’t yet know that just because someone has developed the IgG antibody, that they are fully protected from reinfection, or how long any immunity lasts.

Who can get COVID-19 antibody tests?

Patients interested in receiving an antibody test should be symptom-free for a minimum of fourteen (14) days or have never experienced any COVID-19 related symptoms at all.

Can we order an antibody test and a nasal swab at the same time?

Absolutely. We just need to be sure to inform patients what each test is and what each test result means.

What should I expect when I get COVID-19 antibody test done?

When you arrive at Exer for a COVID-19 antibody test, you will be screened at the door and directed to the registration desk to complete registration. You will then proceed to an exam room where you will see one of our providers who will examine you to make sure you are asymptomatic, document the timing and nature of your past symptoms (if any), and counsel you on the limitation of the test and interpretation of the results. Finally, your blood will be drawn for the test and you will receive information about the test you are receiving.

What if I have symptoms like a cough and runny nose?

The nasal swab is the gold standard for diagnosing a COVID-19 infection. We recommend you get screened first to see if you need to be tested. You can do this using VirtualCare by Exer.

How long will it take to get results?

We will call you with the results within 5 days for either the antibody or nasal swab test.

How much blood is needed?

About half a test tube.

What if it’s negative?

A negative test result means that the antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 were not found in your sample. However, it is possible for the test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people with prior COVID-19. A negative result may occur if you are tested early in your illness and your body hasn’t had time to produce antibodies to the infection. This means that you could possibly still have COVID-19 even though the test is negative. If this is the case, your healthcare provider will consider the test results together with all other aspects of your medical history (such as symptoms, possible exposures, and geographical location of places you have recently traveled) in deciding how to care for you. It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take.

What if the antibody test is positive?

If you have a positive test result, it is likely that you have previously had COVID-19 and that you have developed an antibody response to the virus. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on the test results along with other factors of your medical history, including any previous symptoms, possible exposure to COVID-19, and the location of places you have recently traveled. There is also the chance that this test can give a positive result that is wrong (a false positive).

So, a positive IgG means I’m immune?

No, there is no evidence yet that this test means you are immune and will not get the virus. There are still ongoing studies on this, so stay tuned!

What do I do if I have additional questions about my COVID-19 antibody test results?

Please call the clinic if you have any additional questions or concerns about your test results.

Where can I go for updates and more information?

The most up-to-date information on COVID-19 is available at the CDC General webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. In addition, please contact your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns.

 

For more information:

FDA Emergency Use Authorizations for COVID-19: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/emergency-use-authorizations#covid19ivd
FDA: Serological Test Validation and Education: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-serological-test-validation-and-education-efforts

TREATING YOUR HEALTH IN A CLEAN, SAFE ENVIRONMENT

We’re all trying to stop the spread of COVID-19. But staying home during the pandemic when you or your loved one is sick and needs medical care? That doesn’t have to happen.

Don’t let your health suffer. Be seen today in-person or virtually at VirtualCare by Exer.

 

 


At Exer Urgent Care, We’ve Gone to Extreme Measures to Make Sure you Are Safe When You Come to Our Clinics

For our patients:

  • We’ve eliminated the waiting room process—
    • Furniture and reading materials are gone from the lobby
    • We register you at the front entrance of our clinics and allow you to wait in your car or we bring you straight into an exam room
  • People exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are required to register and wait in their car
  • Patients have their temperatures taken, hands sanitized and are given masks before entering the clinic
  • We’ve tripled our disinfection protocols

For our staff:

  • Employees have their temperatures taken every day before they start work
  • Continuous hand washing as well as wearing masks and full personal protective equipment is required

If you need urgent medical care, our clinics are equipped with on-site X-ray and labs. Keeping people out of the ERs now is more important than ever given the increased health needs of the community. Exer is your ER alternative.

You and your family’s health and safety are important to us. As a part of our community, we want you to know we are doing everything we can to keep you safe when you are in our care.

  • VirtualCare by Exer offers you treatment from one of our providers by mobile phone, tablet or computer. No driving or appointments needed!

EXER NOW OFFERING COVID-19 TESTING [Updated]

We are now offering COVID-19 testing with results in within 5 days at all Exer Urgent Care locations. Testing is only available for patients who have been screened and received a testing referral from one of our providers through VirtualCare by Exer or at one of our clinics. We understand how important it is to get results back fast – to both our patients and communities.

Exer has provided COVID-19 testing for at-risk patients, based on guidance from the CDC and LA County Public Health Officials, since the start of the pandemic.  Since that time we’ve also been working diligently to source a testing solution that will deliver results in a shorter amount of time.

In response to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s announcement on Wednesday, April 29th, on increasing the categories of individuals who can get tested for COVID-19, Exer has expanded its testing criteria for the novel coronavirus to anyone exhibiting symptoms.

For more information about antibody testing click here

Visit VirtualCare by Exer or call your local Exer Urgent Care location to begin the process.

 

See how to do the COVID-19 nasal swab from your car in this short video

 

TESTING FAQs

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-C0V-2 virus. The virus, which can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, was first identified in Wuhan, China, and has now spread globally, including the United States. There is limited information available to characterize the spectrum of clinical illness associated with COVID-19 but it likely spreads to others when a person shows signs or symptoms of being sick (e.g. fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, etc.). However, it is also believed that a material number of patients can be contagious but show no symptoms of the disease.

Do you offer onsite testing for COVID-19?

Yes. We offer testing at all of our Exer Urgent Care locations. For more information on COVID-19 testing, click here.

Do I need a Doctor’s referral to be tested for COVID-19 at an Exer Urgent Care clinic?

Yes, COVID-19 testing is only available at designated Exer Urgent Care COVID-19 testing locations for patients who are seen and evaluated either at an Exer clinic or through VirtualCare by Exer.  We do not currently accept referrals or prescriptions for testing from outside health care providers. If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, please click here to start your video consultation with VirtualCare by Exer before leaving your home.

Who can get the COVID-19 PCR test?

Exer offers PCR testing for a wide variety of patients including those with COVID-19 symptoms, first responders, essential workers, those who have come in contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and want to determine if they are no longer carrying the virus, and those who employers require a negative test to prove they are no longer carrying the virus.

What should I expect when I get the nasal swab?

Nasal swab testing involves inserting a long swab (like a long Q-tip) into the cavity between the nose and mouth (nasopharyngeal swab) for about 10 seconds and rotating the swab several times then placing the swab into a tube and returning to the provider.

Do you take appointments for COVID-19 testing?

No appointment is necessary, but we do require you to be screened by one of our medical providers through VirtualCare by Exer. You can also visit one of our clinics – please see our website for locations and hours which may be changing due to current events.

I am at risk. What should I do?

You should connect via video chat with one of our medical providers through VirtualCare by Exer. There is no appointment necessary. Click here to start your visit. You can also visit one of our clinics – please see our website for locations and hours which may be changing due to current events.

When will I get the results of my test?

You will receive your results within 5 days.

What should I do while I wait for my test results?

Please stay home and follow these guidelines.

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Keep your hands away from your face, mouth, and eyes
  • Wear a face mask when around other people.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid sharing common household items.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Clean surfaces you touch often, such as tabletops, doorknobs, sinks and light switches, every day.

How will I be notified of my COVID-19 test results?

One of our urgent care providers will call you back once the results are in.

If I test positive, what should I do?

If you are sick with COVID-19, you should take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. This includes self-isolation as well an informing any close contacts that they may have been exposed. While there is no known cure for COVID-19, our providers can help treat your symptoms to help you feel better. Seek emergency help if you’re severely short of breath or have any life-threatening concerns.

If I test negative, what should I do?

Per the CDC: If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your specimen was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. It is possible that you were very early in your infection at the time of your specimen collection and that you could test positive later, or you could be exposed later and then develop illness. In other words, a negative test result does not rule out getting sick later.

How does the COVID-19 risk assessment work?

Our providers will screen and evaluate you for COVID-19 based on local and state guidelines. Our telemedicine visit, VirtualCare by Exer, will consist of reviewing your symptoms, your past medical history, and a virtual exam. If the provider determines that you are eligible for testing, you will be referred to one of our testing centers.

What personal information do you need from me?

You will need a government-issued identification and insurance card to be screened for COVID-19 testing through VirtualCare by Exer. If you get directed to one of our clinics for testing, then please bring your ID.

How do you protect unaffected patients?

At our clinics, we have implemented stricter measures as part of our rigorous decontamination protocols, including:

  • All patients get their temperature checked at the front door to our clinics
  • Moved patient screening to directly inside our front door. All patients with cough/cold/fever symptoms will be asked to wait in their car for an immediate phone triage and registration.
  • Tripling disinfectant cleaning efforts
  • Removed all furniture and reading materials from lobbies
  • All staff have their temperature taken before their shift
  • Requesting patients sanitize their hands prior to registration (only if they are not sent immediately to car)
  • Welcoming patients directly into an exam room if they are in distress and do not exhibit cough/cold/fever symptoms (if they are deemed no risk for COVID)

Where can I go for updates and more information?

The most up-to-date information on COVID-19 is available at the CDC General webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. In addition, please contact your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns.

VIRTUALCARE BY EXER LAUNCHES TO BETTER SERVE PATIENTS IN THE MIDST OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC [Updated]

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – April 3, 2020 – Exer Urgent Care is announcing the launch of VirtualCare by Exer, an online urgent care service providing real-time access to a medical provider via video chat with a smartphone, tablet, or computer. With shelter in place mandates, this online service provides patients with quick diagnosis and treatment from Exer’s team of medical providers from the comfort of their homes.

VirtualCare is an extension of Exer’s patient access options and will refer patients to in-person clinic visits as needed to complete orders for labs, x-rays, COVID-19 testing, and other services that can’t be performed over a video call. Patients do not need an appointment and Exer doctors can prescribe medication to be sent to a pharmacy of choice or treat patients remotely by providing medical advice.  VirtualCare accepts the same insurance and payment options as Exer clinics including most PPOs, most HMOs, and Medicare.

“The goal of VirtualCare is to provide access to patients who are unable to come into one of our clinics due to temporary governmental COVID-19 restrictions or for any other reason that makes coming into a clinic a barrier to receiving treatment,” said Dr. Brian Wilbur, Chief Medical Officer with Exer Urgent Care. “We also continue to encourage patients to come into one of our clinics where we have the most resources immediately available (such as labs, x-rays, DME) to treat most of their urgent medical needs.”

VirtualCare by Exer is available 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with the last patient seen at 8:30 p.m. Symptoms that can be treated through this new platform include cold and flu, nose and throat, respiratory, eye, skin, gastrointestinal, UTI’s and other ailments. Exer physicians are able to screen patients for COVID-19 via VirtualCare by asking questions about risk factors and based on information provided, can determine if testing is needed or give other instructions based on symptoms.

Recently, Exer announced new measures as part of their rigorous decontamination protocol to increase patient safeguards against COVID-19. Such measures include tripling disinfectant cleaning efforts, the removal of furniture and reading materials from lobbies, moving the patient screening to directly outside each location, facilitating in-car registration, requesting patients sanitize their hands prior to registration, and welcoming patients directly into an examination room or asking them to wait in their car until they are called. Since then, Exer has added more protocols including:

  • Providing masks to all patients
  • Adhering to self-swab practices to limit exposure of the virus
  • Checking staff’s temperature at the start of every shift to keep workers and patients safe
  • Adding detailed patient aftercare instructions to help support patients at home after a visit

“It’s important to give detailed aftercare to our patients on how to do home care and also be instructed to provide all of their close contacts (household members, intimate partners, and caregivers) with home quarantine instructions. Patients with risk factors for severe illness, such as older age and certain underlying medical conditions, should be closely observed and instructed on alarm signs that should prompt immediate medical attention” Dr. Wilbur reiterated.

For more information about Exer Urgent Care visit www.ExerUrgentCare.com and follow @ExerUrgentCare on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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ABOUT EXER URGENT CARE:

With 16 Southern California locations, Exer Urgent Care is staffed with ER doctors who provide premier medical services in a clean, convenient, high-quality and affordable urgent care environment to a growing number of communities throughout Southern California. With on-site pharmacy, lab, x-ray and more Exer can treat 80 percent of the cases seen in an ER for a fraction of the cost. VirtualCare by Exer provides patients real-time access to a doctor with no appointment necessary via video chat with a smartphone, tablet, or computer. For more information on Exer Urgent Care, visit ExerUrgentCare.com.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Bianca Salter

Public Relations, Exer Urgent Care

562-397-7383

bianca@thebrandamp.com